Everton – Villa; Am I expecting too much?

Well, it’s the middle of winter and it looks like we have a good chance of snow early in the week.
Fortunately it’s early twenties here in Fuerteventura, so I don’t have to worry about that rubbish for another ten days.
I’m taking the proverbial. Apologies, but I can’t help gloating.

So over the last week or so I’ve been asking myself if I’ve been expecting too much from the Villa and have come to realise that I definitely am.
It’s as though I’m expecting us to go through the whole season winning every game and we all know that just doesn’t happen. Even the very best teams get beaten sometimes.
Yet, even so, I don’t see what’s wrong in wanting the best. The trouble is it leads to bitter disappointment when we do lose.
Will I change my thinking? I doubt it, but I can at least try to calm it down somewhat.

Which leads to the game against Everton. Put simply, I fully expect us to win this game, but also realise we could easily lose it, because it’s what we’ve done for decades.
Mind you, I remember years of us all saying we’ll never amount to anything if we can’t beat the top 6 and can only beat the “lower” clubs.
It seems things are totally the opposite now.
Maybe it would be better if we were facing an Everton in the top 10 of the table?

Everton currently lie 17th in the table on 16 points. That’s dangerously close to bottom three, which would probably make them an even more difficult task for us. They would have been twelfth without their 10 point deduction, which shows they’re not doing too badly although their form seems to have dropped off a bit and they lost their last game 3-0 to Wolves.

Squad news and we have Pau, Tielemans and Olsen available to be assessed today, which is definitely good news.The downside is that Lucas Digne is still out, but may be available for our next game.
Bertrand Traore is at the African cup of nations, which doesn’t really bother as a player, but he’s about the only asset worth any money and if his country do well, he might not even be available in this window. Which could be a real blow, because Emery has specifically said we’re having to work with a “one in-one out polcy”. So definitely no big name signings this month, which seems to be a real missed opportunity.
However, what we can we do if our hands are tied?

As for Everton Abdoulaye Doucoure could feature, Dominic Calvert-Lewin has had his 3 match ban overturned and Ashley Young is back in training. Idrissa Gueye will also be at the African cup of Nations.

Unai has said himself that basically Everton are not a bad side and they have many facets to their game. He also makes the point where they do try to attack you which should suit us better. He also says they work hard at winning the second balls and we all know we give those chances far too often.
So we’re going to have to press them and I feel that’s what the whole game is going to be about.
Can we outwork them in the midfield and basically, well, outpress them?

I have concerns, because we look tired and lacking sharpness lately. It’s obviously the same for Everton, but you would think they’re playing with more of a “survival” approach which can make players work harder.
That said, we have to tools to punish Everton and I see goals. Three of them.

Villa to win 2-1 in a very tight, probably scrappy game, with hopefully a couple of flashes of brilliance.



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  1. Hitchens60
    Hitchens60 January 15, 2024 at 4:50 pm . Reply

    Everton (again) and Forest charged with breaching FFP rules.

    No doubt they’ll get hammered (in Everton’s case a second time) whilst ManC and Chelsea spend £billions without any issue? Well ManC have been charged with 110 financial charges over 12 months ago without anything seeming to happen! How long before the Middle Eastern connection at Newcastle (another Sky Six ‘darling) allow it into the Sky Six club – or am I seeing conspiracies that don’t exist?

    No wonder fans feel the EPL is corrupt to the core favouring the ‘fabled Sky Six’ who it seems can flout the rules with impunity?

    We, fortunately have extremely wealthy owners whom, it would seem, recognise the need to stay the right side of the line using their sporting and business acumen to fill the void.

    It’s vital that clubs like Villa and Brighton fight together to break this stranglehold for the good of game we all love.

  2. Holte
    Holte January 15, 2024 at 6:08 pm . Reply

    I think the financial restraints put on us with FFP forces our best players to continually move on. It was Grealish a couple of years ago and take a bet between Luiz or Kamara (or both) in the summer.
    As good as Emery is as a coach, I don’t think even he can replicate our success of this season when the top 6 can go and spend £100m + on players to boost their squad’s, while crippling the wanna be challengers like ourselves and Brighton. State owned Newcastle might get there with numerous brown envelopes in back pockets.
    Eventually Emery just like O’Neill, will be frustrated that our key players are sold and move on when someone like Real Madrid come knocking.
    I know this post sounds defeatist but it’s a fact that we are possibly 8th – 10th in terms of profile alongside West Ham and Everton. Even when we sat in 2nd place we didn’t get hardly a mention by the media. Carragher and the rest saying we would eventually drop out the top 4 as we are currently overachieving.
    Chris Heck says we need to be a more global brand rather than just being big in the West Midlands. So how about giving the fans a 50-60,000 stadium rather than suggest we can’t sell out at 42,000 even though he should know the reason behind that.
    Why did we recruit Monchi if we are shopping in the bargain basement? Maybe in a few years hopefully Monchi will justify his huge salary but right now I’m a little uninspired by the incomings.
    I hope that I’m proved wrong and we can stay in a Champions League position at the end of the season but based on the last month, I think the wheels are slowly coming off. It reminds me of the season when Gregory got us to top but lack of signings cost us and we fell away badly second half of the season.

  3. Badger123
    Badger123 January 15, 2024 at 7:50 pm . Reply

    I think we need to bear in mind that Everton pleaded guilty, whereas City are fighting.
    I suspect Forest will plead guilty too.
    The imbalance points do stand, but I just wanted to point that out.

    1. Hitchens60
      Hitchens60 January 15, 2024 at 8:05 pm . Reply

      Not sure that’s 100% accurate Badger. Didn’t Everton acknowledged the overspend as calculated by the EPL but claimed that they should have been allowed the interest on redevelopment loans so effectively challenging the EPL’s position.

      The EPL seem to be able to deal with Everton quickly by referring it to the independant review board (or whatever its called) so why can’t they similarly deal with ManC and Chelsea both of whom are under investigation.

      I’m no fan of Everton but, rather like VAR, it stinks!

  4. BFR
    BFR January 15, 2024 at 8:21 pm . Reply

    I think it might be time to pack up and go home. The fat lady is clearing her throat… 😔😔😔

  5. BFR
    BFR January 15, 2024 at 8:25 pm . Reply

    Here’s a conspiracy theory. Villa weren’t allowed to win yesterday because Citeh have regrouped and we can’t have their ‘reserved’ position occupied for too long; that would be rude.
    While I’m here: 🖕🖕🖕 up yours to all the tossers ruining football. And a big FU as well.

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